From the 1950s through the 1980s, Vivian Maier worked as a nanny for wealthy families in New York City and Chicago. She spent her days taking her clients' children on explorations of their cities, making sure to visit the ethnic and lower-class neighborhoods they wouldn't normally be exposed to. Everywhere she went she brought her trusty Rolleiflex camera, which she used to take pictures of people, architecture, and even herself. Over the years she took more than 150,000 pictures, which she kept hidden in boxes and suitcases until two years before her death.
In 2007, a storage space owned by Maier was auctioned off due to unpaid rent. Three Chicago based art collectors purchased its contents - a collection of Maier's negatives, prints, slides, 8mm films, and audio recordings she made of some of her subjects. In 2009 John Maloof, one of the buyers, discovered Maier's death notice in the Chicago Tribune and linked the mysterious nanny to the collection, which had begun to gain viral popularity on the internet and critical acclaim in photography circles. Her work has since appeared in gallery exhibitions, books, and documentary films.
The Atlas Obscura Society is proud to present one of those films, the award winning Finding Vivian Maier, as its Cinema Club selection for January. In it, the story of Maier's strange and fascinating life and art are told through never before seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her. The film, which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 87th Academy Awards, attempts to define a woman who has been described as progressive, inspiring, unpredictably frightening, and one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century.
Finding Vivian Maier (2013)
Dir. John Maloof & Charlie Siskel
Monday, January 18th at 7pm
at Videology Bar & Cinema
All ticket sales are final.